Living at the convergence of faith and art.

Psalm 119:57 – You Are My Portion

Detail: Mary Magdelaine & Christ / Sinai Monastery / 7th Cent.

It’s Sunday, Sabbath, Shabbat – the day of rest, reflection, worship, and meditation. I was writing in my journal this morning and ruminating on the first line of “my” scripture passage; Psalm 119: 57-64.

At verse 57, it says, “You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey Your words.”

In my life, in my art-making, in my needs and desires, I find infinite liberation in this relationship I have with Him. As He is my portion, He is my provider. As He is my portion, He meets all of my needs. As He is my portion, I find all of my desires in Him; my heart aligns with Him, and His desires become my desires.

Am I a robot?; not on your life! I am in a surrendered, committed, eternal relationship with my Lord God and my free-will is entirely intact. It would not be a relationship of deep eternal love if this were not so, because love is driven by free-will.

I love the infinite depth of this surrendered relationship because almost daily, God helps me to realize that yet another element of my life is taken care of. When I start fretting about something, asking, “Will there be enough? When will we get there? How will this happen? That’s “mine” and they can’t treat it that way!’” I hear God’s loving Spirit speak to me. He asks, “Am I not your portion?” With that loving question, I come to understand yet another piece of the terrain of my life needing surrender. Oh, how I love this discipline (loving correction & guidance).

In all of my life, I have never, ever been in a relationship in which I could trust without reservation. People have always let me down, just as I’m certain to have done so in the lives of others myself. We do that, don’t we? We fail one another, here and there, in this or that. We’re just “kids”, and we don’t get it fully except in relationship with Abba Father through Jesus Christ our Brother.

It is in this same relationship that I find, when the art’s really happening, and something about it is scaring me because it’s filled with meaning; at those times I find myself in tears as I work. In those intimate times of creativity, I am so filled with peace, safety, joy, and release. There’s no such thing as a mistake. I am safe. All is good, all is well, all adds to the meaning and beauty of the finished piece.

Just as God can reclaim lost years, He can draw beauty and wisdom from the most hideous of human experiences, so too does He translate our pains into meaning-filled beauty. We artists are terribly fortunate.

Our very work itself is a tangible sign of God at work in our lives, and can be an invitation to come to the foot of the Cross and leave our pains there. He will mine them for wisdom to be applied to our lives that we might become living invitations in the cause of Christ.

Because He is my portion, my art-making is richly fulfilling, meaningful, and made to bring Him glory (pointing to the Cross). Because I love being corrected by Him, I am at His disposal, as an apprentice is to the Master, or a scribe is to the King. I am available and together we work 6-days a week in the studio making, learning, re-making, discovering and exploring.

He is my portion. I have promised to obey His words and make the meaning He has entrusted to me. Amen~

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